A track meet of a first period from the PPL Center has the Hershey Bears up, 3-2 at first intermission over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The Phantoms opened and closed the scoring in the frame with two bullets from the point past Justin Peters.
Samuel Morin started the scoring off a clean, offensive zone face off win by Nick Cousins. Hershey’s resiliency led to three unanswered goals by Paul Carey, Carter Camper and Chris Bourque.
Carey drove the net and stuffed in a rebound left by Anthony Stolarz to knot the game at 1-1 at the 5:44 mark. Campers’ goal came via Hershey’s first power play of the night. He deflected a perfect Carey set up over Stolarz for his first strike since November 6th. With 8:06 to play in the period, Chris Bourque turned on his jets and slipped behind the defense for a 2-on-0 rush. He beat Stolarz short side to open the score to 3-1.
Lehigh would get the final laugh of the period, and also capitalize with a power play goal of their own. Andrew MacDonald blasted a shot from the point that deflected off the skate of Mike Moore and into the net.
Defiantly a game very similar to the Black Friday tilt at PPL Center to start. That game, the Bears dropped a 6-5 shootout decision in a back-and-forth contest.
The story of the middle period was Liam O’Brien receiving a five minute major penalty and a game misconduct for head contact. Lehigh Valley would tack on their second and third power play goals of the night and grab a 4-3 lead.
Both Phantoms’ goals were scored from nearly the same exact spot, the face off dot to the left of Peters. Lehigh Valley leading scorer, Nick Cousins tied the game at 5:58 with a snipe through a screened Peters. With 22 seconds left on the major power play and 10:18 remaining in the period, Maxim Lamarche grabbed his first goal of the season. A received a cross-ice pass and beat Peters moving from his right to left.
A Hershey victory in this game would require coming from behind in the third period. Similar to what the Phantoms accomplished against the Bears nine days ago.
Unfortunately a comeback was not in the cards for Hershey, as they ultimately fell, 6-4. Lehigh Valley added two even strength goals to open their lead to 6-3, completing a stretch of five unanswered goals.
At the 8:37 mark, Mark Alt joined in on the scoring with yet another scoring chance from the point. With 4:17 left, the Phantoms completed their scoring on a Cole Bardreau deflection from an Andrew MacDonald shot.
Travis Boyd stopped the bleeding with a backhand goal in the final ten seconds to cut the deficit to two, and round out a 6-4 final.
Lehigh Valley showed their ability for 60 minutes to cash in on taking shots from the outside, setting a screen and getting the deflection to post a six spot on Justin Peters. It’s a game the Bears will have to throw away mentally and have short term memory, as they return home to GIANT Center.
Submitted by intern Matt Trust